The purpose of the project is to develop magnetic resonance imaging techniques for noninvasive detection of coronary artery disease on 3.0-Tesla systems. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a promising screening test to select candidates for conventional angiography. Substantial progress has been made in coronary MRA in the last decade. However, preliminary clinical studies reveal that current coronary MRA techniques suffer from substantial technical failures and false positives. The objectives of the proposed project are to develop novel coronary MRA techniques to achieve the following goals: (a) improving the spatial resolution by 6-fold from current protocols, images will have isotropic resolution in all three directions with whole-heart coverage in one scan;(b) dramatically increasing the imaging speed so that whole-heart MRA can be acquired in a practical imaging time;(c) improving motion compensation schemes to allow more consistent and complete elimination of image artifacts caused by cardiac and respiratory motion. 3.0-Tesla imaging systems can generate images with higher signal intensity than conventional 1.5-Tesla systems. However, imaging coronary arteries at 3.0-Tesla poses serious technical challenges such as higher radio-frequency power deposition and greater magnetic field inhomogeneities. Novel techniques will be designed to address these challenges. Clinically approved contrast media will be used to improve the visualization of coronary arteries. Developed techniques will be validated in healthy volunteers and patients with coronary artery disease.
The specific aims of the project are:
Specific Aim 1 : To improve imaging speed and motion compensation to allow contrast-enhanced whole-heart coronary MRA with 0.7-mm isotropic resolution in approximately 4 min Specific Aim 2: To optimize SNR for contrast-enhanced whole-heart coronary MRA and verify that adequate S.2 SNR can be achieved with a 0.10-mmol/kg MultiHance infusion Specific Aim 3: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of 3.0T contrast-enhanced whole-heart MRA and verify that it can depict coronary artery stenoses more accurately than 1.5T SSFP MRA and the same technique 3.1 allows delayed-enhancement imaging of the coronary artery wall in the same session The end point of the project is the development and initial clinical validation of a new 3.0T imaging approach capable of acquiring whole-heart coronary MRA with dramatically improved spatial resolution and imaging speed, an markedly reduced residual motion artifacts.

Public Health Relevance

coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The overall objective of the project is to develop new magnetic resonace imaging techniques to increase the diagnostic accuracy of coronary disease, to reduce costs of diagnosis, and to improve patient care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Research Project (R01)
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Medical Imaging Study Section (MEDI)
Program Officer
Liu, Guoying
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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles
United States
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